Harriet Knight has always been introverted, relying on her more confident twin, Fliss, to help her navigate the uncomfortable sea of humanity outside their apartment. But now Fliss has moved out to live with her fiancé, and Harriet has decided it’s time to push herself outside her comfort zone in order to seek changes in her life. She’s put herself on a month-long challenge to do something she wouldn’t normally everyday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Dr. Ethan Black works in the ER of a Manhattan hospital. He’s great at this job, knowledgeable, friendly, and able to put aside the overwhelming array of emotions that can spring up in his intense line of work. But when he meets Harriet who simply twisted her ankle and takes his professional advice at face value, he realizes he’s become too cynical. When Ethan agrees to watch his sister’s dog for a short time and Harriet comes as part of the package, Ethan begins to question his own outlooks on life.
Moonlight Over Manhattan is another wonderful romance in Ms. Morgan’s enjoyable From Manhattan with Love series. This time, the story focuses on Fliss’s twin, Harriet, the timid sister who lets Daniel and Fliss take care of her. In the previous two books, we’ve gotten glimpses of Harriet, but in Moonlight Over Manhattan, Harriet is allow to develop and grow.
Challenge Harriet, the name she calls herself because of her goal to do something outside of her comfort zone for a month, is full of surprises, doing things that would be difficult for Harriet. But what happens over the course of the book is that Challenge Harriet and Harriet become one. She learns how to be comfortable in her own skin and discovers she can trip up, recover, and move ahead. And Ethan’s genuine joy in seeing this transformation in Harriet is contagious. I found myself cheering for Harriet each time she tried something new.
While Ethan is an equal partner in this romance, I feel his storyline is overshadowed by Harriet’s. Not only did it seem he had fewer POVs, but because he has given up on love and the messy emotions that get in the way of his job, we don’t get a lot of emotion out of his POVs. Yet, he’s empathetic and kind, with a bedside manner of a saint. And Ethan is freakishly perceptive, in ways I’ve not seen in real life men. For example, realizing how Harriet uses food to help people and make things better and that she isn’t trying to win his heart, but just being who she is: an honest, giving person. He’s just too astute. But that’s also how his character is developed.
While minor, I did have a couple issues with the storyline. For example, Ethan’s need for Harriet to move into his home, rather than have his sister’s dog go home with Harriet. Although I feel the reason for Harriet moving in is a bit ridiculous, the author doesn’t use it to press them together. Additionally, for someone who is so dedicated to animals, Harriet spends a lot of time not walking dogs and easily finding other people to take care of her responsibilities. At one point she is bottle feeding kittens, which is a huge responsibility and a round-the-clock job, yet she goes out of town the next day or so.
In the end, I loved Harriet and Ethan; I loved watching them grow close, and loved how they ended together. Moonlight Over Manhattan, and the entire From Manhattan with Love series, is great because it is about all of those warm fuzzy feelings that make romance my favorite genre to read.
My Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot
Review copy provided by Netgalley